Celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau and awarding the banner of the service
In the courtyard of the Belvedere, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, a ceremony was held to present the Banner of the CBA by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
On 9 June, the official celebrations of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the CBA began with a Holy Mass at the Holy Cross Basilica in Warsaw for the intention of the officers and employees of the CBA. During the Holy Mass, presided over by the Field Bishop of the Polish Army Brigadier General Józef Guzdek, the CBA Banner was consecrated and Archangel Gabriel was declared the patron of the service. Apart from the invited guests, officers and employees of the CBA, the Holy Mass was attended by flag posts of the friendly services and the Representative Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Army.
At noon, in the courtyard of the Presidential Residence in the Belvedere, a ceremony of awarding the Banner to the Service took place. The Head of the CBA Andrzej Stróżny welcomed the guests and, in his speech, thanked the creators of the Bureau, emphasising the important role the CBA plays today in the area of the anti-corruption policy of the State. He expressed his thanks for the commitment, hard work and courage to the officers and employees of the Bureau, to whom he conveyed words of highest recognition and wishes of perseverance and determination in the performance of further tasks. Addressing the officers and employees, he also referred to the symbolism of the banner: “The Banner is the key to understanding important matters for the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau - faithfulness to traditional values, unity, courage and commitment, conscientious work in the service of the Homeland. (...) May the Banner of the CBA, around which we will gather from today, allow us to maintain unity and give us strength to consistently follow the path of honourable service for the Glory of our Homeland.”
During the ceremony, the Act of Founding and Awarding the Banner was read out, signed by representatives of the founders (the initiative of founding the banner came from officers and employees of the CBA), as well as the Act of Awarding the Banner. The solemn presentation of the Banner was preceded by the symbolic driving of honour nails into the shaft. Signatures were also placed in the Book of Remembrance. The Banner was officially handed over to the Head of the CBA by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
– Thanks to the CBA activities, the fight against corruption in Poland has become the norm. This service is needed and will continue to be needed," said President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda addressing the participants of the ceremony.
Head of the Chancellery of the Sejm Agnieszka Kaczmarska read out a letter from the Speaker of the Sejm Elżbieta Witek: “The banner awarded today is a tribute to the fifteen years of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau's activity to date and an expression of the formation's unity.”
In his speech, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stressed that from the beginning, the Third Republic of Poland was plagued by two nightmares - unemployment and the other, partially visible, which was pretended not to exist, corruption. After 1989, the old services and systems determined the rules of social and economic life. These two dimensions, which he symbolically defined, which are unemployment and corruption, are not unconnected. The weakness of economic life stemmed from pathologies, the beginning of which was corruption. The foundation of the CBA was a breakthrough, and to this day it remains an indispensable institution of a properly functioning state. The activity of the CBA along with its professionalisation is the key to the recovery of the state and the existence of a prosperous, righteous and efficient country.
During the ceremony at the Belvedere, Minister Co-ordinator of the Special Services Mariusz Kamiński reminded the ceremony participants that when the CBA was established 15 years ago, all opinion polls showed that Poles considered the issue of corruption in our country as one of the key problems to be solved. The CBA was a response to the challenge, to the expectations of the citizens of our country, who were fed up with the dense, corrupt atmosphere, systems and constant extortion of bribes at various levels in public offices or hospitals. Minister Mariusz Kamiński addressed the CBA officers: “It is thanks to you, your courage and determination, thanks to the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, that we are in a changed Poland.”
The Central Anti-Corruption Bureau Feast, celebrated this year for the first time, was also an occasion to distinguish particularly meritorious officers of the CBA, who received the Crosses of Merit and Long Service Medals from the hands of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda.
The ceremony at the Belvedere was accompanied by the Representative Orchestra of the Polish Army.